Chicken Adobo with Maple Bacon and Bay Leaves

Adobo, whether it’s made with chicken, pork, fish, or a vegetarian version with Kangkong (Kangkong has been translated into English as swamp cabbage or river spinach, but those names don’t reflect what kangkong really is except for the fact that it grows where there’s a lot of water. It has also been called swamp morning glory because of its flowers. In French, it is called liseron d’eau.) is a staple in any Filipino household…but how about upping the ante by diversifying it with bacon?! Here is a recipe I came across at from the May issue of Food and Wine magazine.  Paul Qui, Top Chef winner added a Vietnamese twist to this very traditional Filipino dish…


Copyright © 2013 Grace Clerc. All rights reserved.

  • 3 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch match-sticks (I used maple bacon, six slices)
  • 6 large chicken thighs–about 8 ounces each (I used three large leg quarters to fit our household)
  • Salt (I used Kosher salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar or cider vinegar (Can also be found at Asian markets)
  • 3 cups low-sodium, organic chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shiro shoyu (white soy sauce–can also be found at Asian markets)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne


Copyright © 2013 Grace Clerc. All rights reserved.

  1. In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned, 3 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the fat in the skillet. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet, skin side up. Cook over moderately low heat, turning once, until browned all over, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  2. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Add the garlic and shallot and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until reduced by half, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, fish sauce, shiro shoyu, bay leaves and cayenne and bring to a simmer.
  3. Return the chicken and bacon to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, turning once or twice, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, spoon off the excess fat.
  4. Serve With Chicken Adobo Bacon Fried Rice (Use the left over sauce along with some bacon from the same pan the adobo was cooked in to fry the rice.  Add additional ingredients if desired, i.e. chopped green scallions or cilantro, and chopped garlic)
Original recipe source adapted from